Some advice is truly timeless. Over 200 years ago, Benjamin Franklin instructed us that “a penny saved is a penny earned.” In 2010, we seem to be heeding his words more than ever.
For the first time in nearly 20 years, coupon use in the U.S. is on the rise. According to Inmar Inc., 3.3 billion consumer packaged goods coupons were redeemed in 2009, up 27 percent from 2008.
Even if we didn’t ask for the collective belt-tightening we’re enduring, there are certainly benefits we can reap from it. Downsizing simplifies life. Without the distracting impulse to always want more, we can reassess our values and purpose, appreciate what we have, focus on our relationships with family and friends, and enjoy our time in more creative and meaningful ways.
One of our favorite articles to put together every year is the arts and entertainment preview, and to help our readers maximize their fun, we decided to expand the listings to include activities all year long, not just the fall. Many of the featured events cost little to nothing to attend, but then, the intrinsic value of watching a live play, studying a piece of artwork, or riding the Ferris wheel at a carnival, especially with a loved one, is scarcely quantified in the price of admission.
The memories we make during these experiences are priceless. Time is, after all, the greatest luxury we have, and spending it wisely should be our top priority. Take, for example, local high school football. These schedules are also featured in this issue. On a Friday night, few activities can rival the excitement of watching a game under the lights with family, friends, and neighbors.
In this same vein of savings, we’re also unveiling the first-ever coupon section in our magazine. Here and in future issues, readers will be able to refer to these pages for immediate savings at local businesses. The offers prove that a sluggish economy brings out the best in business as well and that quality does not have to suffer as prices come down.
Finally, we have a fascinating story on Thoroughbred trainer Todd Pletcher who guided “Super Saver” to a Kentucky Derby victory this year. Yes, even the aptly-named Derby winner seems to pay homage to our slimmed-down ways.
Ocala Style has always strived to be a means by which the community can connect with people, businesses, and events of value. My hope is that this issue serves as a reminder that our lives are enriched and not diminished by downsizing, that the most valuable things aren’t things at all but time well spent with the ones we love.
Until next time,